Olive Dean

Olive Dean works with a variety of alternative photography techniques including lumen.

Some of her current work – Chinese Clouds – can be seen at the SSA Instant exhibition.

Originally having trained in the School of Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art in the 1980’s and still continuing to be active in this discipline, I usually use mixed media instead of traditional oils.

In the last couple of years alternative photography seems to have taken over: I use camera-less procedures such as lumenography and make cyanotypes (blueprints) using only solar exposures for both, and I also make pinhole images. The old adage “not an exact science” is an apt one: in applying sensitiser on old photographic paper for example in preparing lumens, the interplay of randomisation, accident and “controlled chance” to quote Jackson Pollock, is for me exciting. Failure is not infrequent! Different papers produce different results.

My work is inspired by nature in all its forms. Nature infallibly provides us with the best in design even in the most mundane of surroundings. Plants, rocks, lichens and waste-ground already surround us; the only requirement is closer observation. Being an experienced gardener helps.

In the transition from initial conception of ideas to finished work, the images occasionally become semi-abstracted in colour and form.

Flickr 1, Flickr 2.